Tag Archives: Recreation

November Mystery Kit Preview

Hi everyone, my name is Donna Coughlin and I am November’s Guest designer. I am so thrilled and honored to be here this month at Home and Garden Welcome. The kit this month is so fantastic. If you are a fan of distressing and that Tim Holtz feel you will love the kit. I made this mini album about my grandparents and with this kit it was so easy!

Here are step by steps instructions.
This is what I used for the cover.

1.Punch holes in 7 Gypsies book. Glue down using Glossy Accents desired embellishments/title so that it will fit inside the Melissa Frances Frame that what is included in the kit. Fill in the frame with the Crackle Glossy Accents. Ink the frame if desired.

This is a closeup of how it looks when dried.

2. For inside of the book I cut 8 pieces of Coordinations Cardstock 3 ½ by 5 ¾. About Coordinations cardstock, if you never used it, once you do, you will fall it love with it. It thick, sturdy, great for embossing and distressing. Glue 2 pieces together to form a thicker page. I did this for 6 of the pieces, forming 3 pages. The other two pieces glue on inside of front and back cover. Emboss 4 of the pieces using the Sissix Tim Holtz embossing folders that were in the kit.

3.Now the fun part begins. Embellish each page however you want. Since this was going to be about my grandparents I typed up on my computer a little bit about each one and printed it out on Coordinations. Cover chipboard and grungeboard accents with ink, paper, or whatever you want and add glossy accents You can also make flowers from the Coordinations paper.
4.On the third page – Following the instructions on Magic Stamp package use the 7 Gypsies gears to make a stamp. It was really simple and worked fabulously. I then added some of the gears to the page. My tip for using the foam while you a placing the gears on the foam, use your other hand use the blow dryer to keep the foam warm. Also I used a flat cutting board to press down the evenly into the foam. Apply a thin coat of acrylic paint (you could use ink) on the stamp to be used as picture frame. I cannot wait to experiment more these stamps, they are awesome!

Here are my finished pages.

On this page I used the stamp I made above (step 4) and added some of the 7 Gypsies gears to the pages.

Here I made a flower using the coordinations paper, and added a few vintage embellishments I had lying around.

5.Use a chain, metal rings or even ribbon to bind your book together.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, visit Home and Garden Welcome to purchase your November Mystery Kit.  Enter the contest and maybe you could win!



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Branching Out

I wanted to share with you all an all time favorite of mine.   This page I made at a scrapbooking weekend with my Lil’ Sis. Every fall we go away for a long weekend to a local resort for an all-inclusive (okay, not the alcohol….) crop.

This picture of my son was amazing (in my mind). I loved the way he looked so small in contrast to the large stony out croppings around the Horseshoe Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

As much as I like this picture, It is hard to focus on Erik as he is headed down the path. To remedy that I cut him from the photo, mounted the cut out on a coordinating paper, tied a bit of twine around and placed him back where he belongs.

Next, because of the little boy/big world, growing into a man angle I decided to take I added a photo of my husband and son in the little cave along the path and typed my journaling on a piece of vellum. I liked the way the picture showed through the vellum.

There was an area on the page that needed to be filled, and I didn’t really know how to fill it. I decided to take advantage of the tree that was growing in the foreground. Using acrylic paints I extended it out of the photo on to my background. (I absolutely LOVE it!) For the title, I used my cricut to cut the words out of the trimmed part of my smaller picture. Before I took the paper out of the machine I replaced the blade with a black cricut marker and reset the machine to outline my letters.

Finally, for accents I used heavy cardstock that had been distressed, inked, stamped, sprayed and otherwise dealt with and tied them with more twine to repeat the twine on the picture and added a few metal findings to bring in a more masculine touch.

And after all was said and done this is my final page. I have to say this is one of my all time favorites! Give this technique a try with a photo of your own and I’m sure you will love your results as much as I love mine!

Happy Crafting!


This post can also be found on the Things Crafty blog, where I am a member of the design team.


Filed under Artistic Expression

Embellishments beyond the crafting isle

Usually when looking for embellishments for our scrapbooks or handmade cards we stroll down the paper crafting isle in our local (or online) stores. Sometimes we may venture a little way out from the edges of these isles.  Maybe looking in the sewing notions for unique buttons or interesting ribbons. And maybe even in a stretch you may head down the wood crafts isle for paints, wooden letters or stains.  Some won’t even venture that far.  I am giving you all a personal challenge – use something WAY out of the ordinary in a scrapbook layout!

Here is a two page layout I made after a humorous incident that happened on a hike during last summer’s family vacation.

Do you see that there?  Yes it is, I used a crushed water bottle to embellish this page.  My daughter got a water bottle at lunch (much like the one on the page) and took it along with her on a hike.  Climbing up a set of stairs she tripped and her water bottle went tumbling down the side of the hill.  As you can tell by the pictures, she was as crushed as the bottle on the page at the loss of such a great friend.

Here is the water bottle on the page.  I used my sizzix machine to crush it (I am not recommending the sizzix as a tool for crushing your recyclables and if you so choose – do at your own risk.  There is great potential to damage your machine.) and my Xyron machine to appy the adhesive. (Again, heed above warning.) And of course the bottle is not complete without the cap! I used a liquid craft glue to attach the cap to the opposite page.

Finally, because I had a lot of the brownish colors on my page, and not much of a place for journaling I decided to use a photo as the base for my story.  I cut my daughter out of the photo then matted it on a piece of cardstock.  Next I measured my photo and the placement of the photo and mat on the original image.  Using those measurements I created a custom text box in my journaling program, wrote my story and then printed it on vellum.  After trimming my vellum to fit the picture and applying it as a covering I layered the matted cutout back in place trying my best to make sure all the lines would match up.

After adding my title and a few other little snippets of journaling my page was complete! Take a closer look at the pages….

I felt the crushed water bottle helped tell the story.  Looking at the dejected slump of the shoulders you would assume that the water bottle that was lost was something special, maybe one with her name on it or a gift from grandma, but having the disposable plastic water bottle on the page adds the humor we all found in this situation.  Okay, not all of us.  Katie still does not find much humor in these photos.

Next time you have a story to tell look for unique embellishments that will not only accent your page but help tell your story.  Went to the beach?  How about adding some glass bottles with some of the sand you collected? Or attaching some small shells?  I’ve used a fishing lure on a page, and made a ‘raft’ out of barbecue skewers on another layout.  Push yourself a little and see what you can create!

If you have risen to my challenge go ahead and comment with a link to your blog.  You may find your art featured here!

Happy Crafting


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June Mystery Kit

This is the June 2012 Mystery Kit available at Home and Garden Welcome.

Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, Spring Has Sprung! Use the elements in this kit to create a one-of-a-kind project showing off your talents!

Suggested tools:
Acrylic mounting blocks (6×6, 2×2, 1×6, 3×3)
Assorted inks and paints

For details about this contest visit the Mystery Craft Contest Rules page.

Kit includes:
Wire Writer & Jewelry Jig Kit
Inkadinkado Cling Stamps, Insect Amalgam
Green Stack Recycled Chipboard Embellishment Box
Flower Soft, 30ml-Spring Mix

I’ve posted this so you have an idea of what MAY be included in a Mystery Kit.  You are free to create and submit projects with this kit, however you will not be eligible to win.  The July 2012 Mystery Kit will be available soon!

Happy Crafting,



Filed under Artistic Expression